Azerbaijan Warns of ‘A Great War’ With Armenia

BAKU (RFE/RL)–Azerbaijan stepped up its threats to launch a new war against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday, with Defense Minister Safar Abiyev speaking of a growing likelihood of “a great war” with Armenia.

“For 15 years diplomacy has not achieved any concrete results and Azerbaijan cannot wait another 15 years,” Abiyev said, according to an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry statement reported by local and international media.

“Now it’s the military’s turn and the threat is growing every day,” Abiyev was quoted as telling the French ambassador to Baku, Gabriel Keller. “If Armenia does not end its occupation of Azerbaijan’s territory, the beginning of a great war in the South Caucasus is inevitable.”

Azerbaijani leaders and President Ilham Aliyev in particular have for years been threatening to resolve the Karabakh conflict by military means if the long-running Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations fail to yield a settlement acceptable to Baku. Abiyev’s comments seemed to take this bellicose rhetoric, criticized by international mediators, up a notch.

Armenian leaders dismiss such threats. President Serzh Sarkisian warned late last month that an Azerbaijani assault on Armenia and Karabakh would trigger “serious counterattacks” with unspecified elements of surprise.

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian issued a similar warning earlier in January. He said Armenian forces have significantly beefed up defense fortifications around Karabakh in recent years and are prepared for renewed fighting.

The mutual threats contrast with the American, French and Russian mediators’ hopes to broker an Armenian-Azerbaijani framework accord on Karabakh in the course of this year. “The understanding [between the conflicting parties] is growing and the number of issues that must be tackled by the top leaders is decreasing,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said early this month.

Still, the top U.S. intelligence official, Dennis Blair, warned just days before Lavrov’s statement that chances of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war have grown because of the U.S.-backed rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey strongly opposed by Azerbaijan.


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  1. Lusik said:

    What do you think? Let us build, while listening war rhetoric.
    After reading this article, and seeing how much harm this man can do to his own nation by talking irresponsibly and taking it to the war without victory, I thought about giving them sign. They are our neighbors, after all.

    I thought about building a Triumphal Arch of “Will and Courage” with a purpose of celebrating the veterans of the Artsakhian War, to honor all the victories of Artsakhians, to fortify notion of patriotism. I mean including a cohort of Artsakhian generals and marshals and admirals of the WWII. Will be a good reminder to Russians as well about their Lions and Tigers.

    And put this Triumphal Arch where the forum of the people of Artsakh will decide.

    • Lusik said:


      Will be a good reminder to Russians, Americans and French and Britons, … .

    • Philip Pehlivanian said:

      Yes, it seems as if they have not learned their lesson the first time. Us Armenians will walk all over Azerbaijan again, again and again. They’re not smart enough to learn when to quit so in the meantime if they do want to go to war, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Azeri military be taught a lesson…..again.

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    • Nairian said:

      Parev Sahag, they have been giving warlike rhetoric for as long as I remember. The only thing is that our Republic didn’t answer them much, except as of late Sarkissian did a month ago and I liked his good speech at Chatham House in England. Armenia should start talking back to them and watch them telling lies to the Europeans about Armenians doing this or that when we didn’t even start wars but the Azeris did, and we won the war. Artsakh and Nakhichevan was never theirs; it was always Armenian lands to begin with and I like what Sarkissian said that if Azerbaijan got their freedom from Communist Russia then why didn’t Karapakh-Artsakh as well? Why should bigger and established countries can have their ways in the political world but not the small countries? And if they don’t then it would not be justified and everyone will suffer in the end by robing the peacefulness in the caucasus or elsewhere in the world when the small countries are robbed of their justified freedom – such as Artsakh in this case. In other words, how come Russia was able to have Ossetia and Abkhazia part of his lands and right away she recognized it and not Nagorno-Karapakh/Artsakh for almost 20 years now? I know this was his justified comments to the world powers and justifiably so.

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  5. ahmed ibnoghlu said:

    I believe as an azerbejiani citizen, we should leave armenia alone, we are not strong enough to challange them, they are much more capable of distroying us , they have a good reason called REVANGE they never forgot 1915 and what we had done to them murdering 1,500.000 armenians and taking thier land. I am affraid for my sons at the end of the day I want them to come home, not go to the grave yard.

    I am not a cowered man I am only facing reality, why can’t we live in peace after all we are all God’s children, and let’s leave the sleeping gaint alone.

    • Harut said:

      Ahmed you most definitely are not a coward. Your leader should be the one to realize reality and take the appropriate measures. War does not resolve the matter, it just magnifies the issue in hand.

  6. Rashad Abdulayev said:

    All of you listen, first of all this Ahmed guy is not Azeri, that is not an Azeri family name but you guys already know that, and let me tell you something, Azerbaijan has spent 11 billion on weapons for the last 5 years while armenia have spent only 2 billion ( UN Statistics), oh let me not to forget to mention we have got one of the strongest armies in Asia right behind us, yes Turkey, our brothers. In addition to that, Azerbaijan has much more valuable assets and natural resources than armenia, hence we are of more interest to other countries. Ponder on that. If war does happen, it will not be ‘ A Great War’, it will be a very short and fast war, ending with Azerbaijan coming out victorious.

  7. tash said:

    if war strikes,armenia will call upon all the real armenian man around the world,and they will come like lions, to protect their children.they dont need no money nor guns.